Confirmation that Pre Nuptial Agreements have value.

The Supreme Court has today confirmed the Court of Appeal decision in Radmacher v Granatino.

"Such Agreements can have decisive and compelling weight." It is "natural to infer that parties entering into agreements will intend that effect be given to them"

Does this mean that they are unchallengeable? No - the Court would still have discretion to waive any terms of a Pre Nuptial Agreement that were considered unfair. 

The word of the moment - "Fairness" - is key to achieving a durable Pre Nuptial Agreement.

As with Post Nuptial Agreements a good starting point to ensure fairness is for both Parties to be represented; financial disclosure documentation should be exchanged; future changes in circumstances should be considered and time pressures to sign should be limited.

Has today`s decision fundamentally altered the approach to dealing with Family/Marital disputes? Again the simple answer is No. A less adversarial approach has been developing momentum over the last 10 years. 

This week`s notification of the Government`s intention to promote mediation as the preferred method for resolving Family disputes is perhaps not co-incidental particularly when coupled with today`s announcement of cuts in the Ministry of Justice budget. The impending 2012 Law Commission Report on Pre Nuptial Agreements will create further opportunity for an all embracing rethink on English Family law.

Please contact Sheridan Ball on 01482 323239 or Karen Myles on 01904 6255790 for assistance and advice regarding any issues relating to Family Matters. Sheridan and Karen are highly experienced Lawyers who are both Members of the Law Society Advanced Family Law Panel. They have also been working as accredited Law Society/LSC/Resolution Mediators for the last 10 years.

Posted on: 20/10/2010

This article is for general guidance only. It provides useful information in a concise form. Action should not be taken without obtaining specific legal advice.

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